Photos by Abolfazl Maahrokh, ISNA
Payvand.com - Pro government forces, after prior announcements and with the approval of the authorities, gathered in Qom on Wednesday. This rally was a response to the massive gathering by the opposition forces on Monday during the funeral for Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. However, the photos distributed by ISNA show the rally failed to attract many.
Iran's opposition movement once again displayed its strength and popularity during the massive funeral for Grand Ayatollah Montazeri held in Qom on December 21.
In comparison, the opposition green movement managed to mobilize hundreds of thousands on Monday to attend the funeral. This was despite all the roadblocks and obstacles set to prevent people from getting to Qom or to discourage them from attending the program.
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Related report by Radio Zamaneh
Iranian government supporters target opposition leaders
pro-government forces around Ayatollah Montazeri's home in Qom
Supporters of Ayatollah Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Qom today concluded their rally with a fierce announcement against the reformist leaders. The rally was organized in response to anti-Khamenei and Anti-Ahmadinejad slogans chanted during Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral march yesterday.
The pro-government forces also attacked Ayatollah Montazeri's residence at Qom
last night as an expression of their anger.
Today's rally started in front of Ayatollah Khomeini's home in Qom and the march took them to Ayatollah Montazeri's residence as the participants chanted slogans against government dissidents.
In conclusion, Fars reports, the demonstrators condemned Ayatollah Rafsanjani,
the Chairman of the Expediency Council, for supporting opposition leaders such
as Khatami, Karroubi, Mousavi and Yousef Sanei.
The announcement indicates that the opposition leaders turned the funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri in a "political meeting offensive to all pious people."
The announcement also calls on the Qom seminary to rescind Ayatollah Sanei's
credentials as a Shiite minister.
The anti-Khamanei sentiments expressed in Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral were condemned by hardliner Ayatollah Noori Hamadani.
Reportedly mourners chanted "Our Leader is a murderer! his term is null and void!" And when the Supreme Leader's condolence message was to be read during the funeral, the crowd jeered.
Reportedly hardliners are trying to organize another rally tomorrow in Qom.
Ruydad website reports that government hardliners are trying to rally support from all over the country to show support for Ayatollah Khamenei.
The website adds that tomorrow's gathering is being organized as the first two attempts at rallying support did not prove too effective.
Ruydad also adds that "schools have received orders from the Education ministry to prepare students to participate in the demonstrations."
... Payvand News - 12/23/09 ... --